New Pope: Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina

He will be called Pope Francis
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 13, 2013 1:13 PM CDT
Updated Mar 13, 2013 2:19 PM CDT
Cardinals Pick a Pope
White billows from the chimney on the Sistine Chapel.   (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

The Catholic church has chosen a new pope: Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, a 76-year-old Jesuit. He will be known as Pope Francis and is the first pontiff from the Americas and the first from outside Europe in more than 1,000 years. He stepped out onto the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica about an hour after white smoke began billowing from the Sistine Chapel. “I would like to thank you for your embrace,” he told the jubilant crowd, adding that his fellow cardinals "went to the end of the world" to find a new pope. (Bergoglio's humility is a key theme in early profiles.)

He reportedly finished second in the 2005 conclave that produced Benedict XVI, who last month became the first pope to resign in 600 years. The archbishop of Buenos Aires has spent nearly his entire career at home in Argentina, overseeing churches and shoe-leather priests. Tens of thousands of people who braved cold rain to watch the smokestack atop the Sistine Chapel jumped in joy when white smoke first poured out, as the bells of St. Peter's and churches across Rome tolled, signaling a pontiff had been chosen. Elected on the fifth ballot, Bergoglio was chosen in one of the fastest conclaves in years, remarkable given there was no clear front-runner. (More Vatican stories.)

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